I Need A Hero

I’ve been thinking a lot of late about heroes.  I think it is because I was feeling boxed in before I decided to read in more genres than I was before this new year rolled in.

The other thing is trying to imagine what a hero looks like from the author’s description.  For example, last night I was reading about a tall, half-Irish, half-Japanese intellectual with long dark hair that fell into his eyes and a goatee.   I can’t even think what actor would resemble him and what a goatee would look like on him;  all I can imagine is a male manga character with some pointy facial hair.  Also, I tend to imagine guys that look like the hot guys on TV from when I was younger, like Tom Selleck, or Chris Hemsworth.

Men are described as having sharp cheekbones, square jaws, perfect, piercing eyes, larger than average penises (seriously) or slightly imperfect teeth.  They all have well-developed physiques and are able to eat endlessly without gaining weight; they can also drink more booze than anyone could possibly consume without getting alcohol poisoning.

Tom Selleck and a Naval Officer  on the USS Ronald Reagan in 2004 (public Domain Image)
Tom Selleck and a Naval Officer on the USS Ronald Reagan in 2004 (public Domain Image)

I was pretty much only reading romance in the historical and paranormal subgenres and they were almost always steamy or erotic.

Somehow I have been reading a ton of BDSM romance.  It seems like there are just a few types of heroes but they are all much cooler, smarter, more noble, always seem to know what the woman is thinking and exactly how to make her come.   They are almost always Alphas or Betas, sort of dominant and nearly omniciscient.

They always show up when you need them.  They are open communicators, they own their mistakes.
There are so many billionaire and millionaire heroes in fiction that if there really were that many big spenders the world would be very different.  If the hero in a book is not wealthy, his poverty or middle-class status is noble.  He is employed, in any event.  If for some reason he is not it is for a noble reason or he is recently returned from war and seeking work, or he is a member of the gentry or nobility (idly rich).

What does a hero look like?  What stands out about fictional heroes in the books you read — their looks, their deeds, their words? Are fictional heroes archetypes or blueprints for our real life men?
Does fiction create unrealistic expectations  for men, sex, relationships, or, whatever?

Do the REAL men in our lives have any chance of living up to the expectations engendered in fictional heroes?